Third Time Is Not the Charm for SSI/SSP Recipients

The old adage “the third time’s the charm” unfortunately does not apply to California’s beleaguered Supplemental Security Income/State Supplementary Payment (SSI/SSP) recipients. The February budget agreement included two cuts to SSI/SSP grants, which help more than 1.1 million low-income seniors and people with disabilities meet basic needs. The first grant cut took effect on May 1, dropping the maximum grant for individual recipients from $907 per month to $870 per month. The second cut will take effect on July 1, further reducing the maximum grant for individuals to $850 per month.

Now, Governor Schwarzenegger is proposing a third cut to SSI/SSP grants in 2009 as part of his May Revision. Under this proposal, the maximum grant for individuals would drop even further, to $830 per month – the minimum level required by federal law – as of September 1, 2009.

Third time’s the charm? For SSI/SSP recipients struggling to make ends meet on a dwindling income, it’s more like “three strikes and you’re out.”

— Scott Graves

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